WFC. International has entered into an exclusive partnership with the Florida-based Factory Entertainment Group LLC to provide finance for Suzanne Delaurentis’ production of the Ty Arnold comedy How Sweet It Is whose cast includes Burt Young, John Lowitz, Christopher Lloyd, Krista Allen and Harland Williams.
According to WFC’s CEO Jan Friedrich Wellendorf, his fund differed from previous players who had been on the market at the beginning of the decade because his partner Factory Entertainment “has attached great importance to the careful selection of potential partners and to avoiding cooperation with the major US studios” and pointed out that – unlike the practice of the German media funds in the past - he had made it a personal duty to inform his investors that fiscal legislation in Germany now meant that they would not enjoy tax advantages from investing in a media fund.
“However, despite the abolition of the tax shelter models, when you have a realistic and honest calculation like with our Motion Picture Fund, film or media funds are one of the best financial investments as they promise high returns in a short time,” he added.
Wellendorf explained that his company had been prompted to launch the fund in response to a strong demand from his clients. “The US market and, in particular, the film industry are becoming increasingly interesting for investors,” he observed. “The financial crisis in Greece, which is forcing all of the EU member states to finance the first insolvent state and make immense national savings, is reducing the faith in the Euro as a stable and secure currency. Alternatives are called for and we can offer them.”
The appearance of this new player in the form of WFC. International comes as Franz Landerer, the initiator of one of the past inglorious media funds Victory Media, appeared in court in Augsburg this week to answer charges of fraud, tax evasion and embezzlement.
Victory Media, which specialized in financing TV productions for children, young people and family audiences, had raised around Euros 350m in 24 film funds placed from 1991 from 8,500 investors. In 2006, the holding company Victory Media AG filed for insolvency.